Available from Amazon Kindle Store: Beyond Words – 12 short stories about love, death, and deception
These 12 short stories have all been either long-listed, short-listed, highly commended, or placed, in various writing competitions.
Beyond Words: Anka wants to improve her English, but she’s always so tired after work, and there’s no-one to help her learn. She practises reading signs and notices in the hotel, and the occasional newspaper left by the guests. But then something happens which proves her current life is intolerable, and she realises that, sometimes, words are no help at all.
Cheque Mate: The young man at the door seems nice enough, and Agnes, all alone after her husband’s death, is quite happy to give him a cup of tea and a biscuit and hear about his company’s latest investment deal. Mr Jenkins from the neighbourhood watch might have something to say about it though.
Free Running: Jane, a keen runner, is a bright, humorous, successful woman, with an active social life. At first, Rory seems like the perfect boyfriend, but when his love turns into obsessive control, Jane’s world begins to shrink. Will she ever be free?
Hugo’s Return: Everyone has a skeleton in the cupboard. But for Kath, now a learned University Professor, the past is back to haunt her.
Last Rights: Parker is only protecting his land, as is his right. But in the middle of the night, even the familiar can seem oddly unnerving, and Parker is about to realise that some rights are not set in stone.
Out of Her Misery: Of course, it’s wonderful to have Kate home again, except the reality is it means there’s no hope left. As her condition deteriorates still further, Kate’s husband must face the question: what do you do when someone you love asks the impossible?
Lemonade: Floyd is an alcoholic. Whilst in rehab, he meets Marcus, an unlikely fellow inmate, and they have a wager on who will get out first.
Penny for the Guy: It’s coming up to Bonfire Night at the allotment association, but Elaine has more on her mind than double-digging. Husband Gareth has strayed, and it’s only when Elaine begins to suffer headaches and dizziness that she realises the lengths he’ll go to see her out of the picture. It’s time for revenge.
Caveat Emptor: Ben wants a final project before he loses his fight with terminal illness. The tumbledown ferryman’s cottage seems perfect, and he starts work on the renovations. It’s a race against time – but time has a few tricks of its own, and Ben must learn that the cottage comes with a binding covenant.
Bit Part: People are still interested in Edward, even after his death, when half his work is no longer in print, so it falls to his batman to deal with the reporters and fend off the queries about their past. The batman who, to all intents and purposes, has been left with nothing. But wealth can mean any number of things – and there are always the memories, more precious than all.
The Bluebell Wood: After Lizzy abandons boyfriend Aaron and the rest of her family to go and live a new life, sister Sophie can only think of her with bitterness. Sophie certainly never meant to fall in love with Aaron herself and end up living in the same house where Aaron and Lizzy had apparently once been so happy. When Aaron is scheduled to be away for the weekend, Sophie decides to finish work on the garden as a surprise for his return – but Sophie is in for a much more sinister surprise.
No Conferring: Joe is 96, and his long life has shrunk to sitting in front of the telly watching game shows at the residential care home. The Doctor visits regularly, and each time finds himself reflecting on both Joe’s life and his own. What if it’s all just a game? And how do you score full marks?